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22 Feb 2004

Doc , advice if you can ?


this to an extent has to do with posts about psychics... now im stuck in a rut at work ... totaly !! 15 yrs ago i half did a bcom degree , but im 42 now and have little inclination to carry on for the rest of my life punching numbers.

However I have had a life long interest in human behaviour and solving puzzles ... by puzzles i mean the whys of why people do what they do etc ... I have always had an uncanny knack of picking out the liars , the frauds , the dishonest people and also the person that can be relied upon .. i fell that i have very good instincts .. and i have found the oler i get that my instincts are 100% .. this of course coupled with the fact that i have huge difficulty keeping my mouth shut has gotten me into a lot of trouble at work .... just the other day I caught someone red handed by watching his body language about to lie .... when i actulay proved my point i almost lost my job because I was told I "interfere"

I seriously doubt im psychic but life and all its trials I think has made me more aware of "funny" things than normal.

Now the other day i was surfing the web and i came across a web site on handwriting analysis . it ws as if i'd been struck by lightening ..... this fascinates me completly ......

Now i have also been appraoched many times in town to assist with counselling ... Im an alcholic (dry 4 yrs) and I can truly help these people.

i have decided to take my "talent?" and use it to futher myself ... I start studying next week .

I must quite honestly tell you the last time i felt so exited about anything was ....... hell i dunno.

Im still not sure 100% of what this"idea" is going to bring me , but i would like to combine psychology , criminolgy with this handwriting analysis.

You are a qualified person .. what advice can you give me ??

It seems there are many areas where this skill can be applied apart from the justice system .., labour matters, corporate fraud etc.

I feel in my bones im on the right track here but advice would be most welcome

Thanks many tons
Answer 406 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Carol,
I suppose much depends on how you plan to be employed ( in the new role you envisage) and how you plan to use your skills in paying fruitful attention to how people behave, as part of assessing them. Studying psychology would be a good way to start, anyway, as apart from the facts you'd learn, the central issue in a good course is to learn how to learn, and to learn how to think most fruitfully.
If you want to be able to get a job using the skills you plan to develop, you'll need to look closely at the marketplace, at what is needed by the folks who hire people. With a psychology qualification, people-assessment skills would be useful in HR/personnel depts of companies, for instance.
But what you'd also learn in any good psychology course, essential to such a job, is the scientific method, which is a vitally important way to assess suggestions and to avoid being foolish. And with your number-crunching skills, the satistical part of it ought to be a breeze for you.
One can believe in handwriting analysis (ha), for instance, and function as an amateur in that field ( there are no formally recognized qualifications in ha ) ; but because there is absolutely no good scientific proof that the claims made by handwriting analysts are accurate, such assessments would not be usable in decision-making in a company ( someone not selected for a job because of a negative assessment in ha, could sue and would win, for the decision would have been made by using a metod that can't be substantiated in Court ). Like lie detectors, which are far more fallible and far more often wrong ( in both directions, both passing as true, statements which are actually lies, and rejecting as lies statements which are actually true), they, like ha, are not allowed in court in any civilized country.
The safeguard of the scientific method is that it helps to protect us from fooling ourselves. It is so easy to believe a theory that is attractive and sounds like it ought to be true, though many such theories turn out to be false, sometimes dangerously so. To use an awful example from medicine, decades ago, dealing with premature babies, it seemed so obvious that if the little mites were having difficulty in breathing, it "must" help them to give them a lot of oxygen in their incubator --- but in fact not only did it not greatly help to improve the babies chances of survival, but it was discovered to the horror of those treating them, that it often made them go blind --- due to a complex effct of excessive oxygen on the blood supply to the eye, something nobody knew about at that time. So what seemed obviously a good idea turned out to be disasterous.
If we'd been more fussy and sceptical, and had said : "Gee, that sounds great, and we'd like it to be true --- but lets test it carefully" it is likely that a great many babies would not have been blinded.
So though we scientists are often considered to be spoilsports when we urge caution, and testing, and analysis, before accepting atractive suggestions, the method saves lives.
As some of my own research showed ( along with that of many others ) in the field of interview techniques, of the way in which we interview someone, including applying some of the intuitive aspects you mention you have found useful, but doing so in specific ways, and checking on them for different ways of confirming ( or disconfirming !) one's initial impressions, it was possible to greatly increase the accuracy and usefulness of the results of what appeared to be a simple afair of sitting and talking with people.
From the sound of it, you might be well able to develop skills in this sort of direction, that could be really useful. about handwriting analysis, I remain sceptical, due to the lack of good proof that any of the claims they make are consistently and fruitfully true. I remember recently, for instance, in our work with Big Brother, that noted and much praised handwriting Analysts made assessments and predictions about participants, some of which were dramatically wrong.
Good luck with a further refinement and development of your plans !
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